Distributor: The National Film Board of Canada
Broadcaster: Bravo! (Canada)
Production Company: Makin’ Movies in co-production with the NFB
Executive Producers: Maureen Judge, Silva Basmajian (NFB)
Producers: Maureen Judge, Anita Lee (NFB)
Director: Nik Sheehan
FlicKeR, winner of the Special Jury Prize, Canadian Feature Documentary at the Hot Docs Film Festival (2008), Best International Film on Art, Era New Horizons Festival, Poland (2009) and nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award, Best Performing Arts or Arts Film, is a film about Beat artist, Brion Gysin, his dream machine and mind-altering experiences.
‘Really, I think, behind everything, he was trying to teach people to see differently.’ – Marianne Faithfull, on Brion Gysin
The dream machine looks simple enough: A 100-watt light bulb, a motor, and a rotating cylinder with cutouts. Just sit in front of it, close your eyes, and wait for the visions to come. The dream machine offers a drugless high that its creator – poet, artist, calligrapher and mystic Brion Gysin – believed would revolutionize human consciousness. He wasn’t alone. Kurt Cobain had a dream machine. And William S. Burroughs thought it could be used to ‘storm the citadels of enlightenment’.
With a custom-made dream machine in tow, director Nik Sheehan takes us on a journey into the life of Brion Gysin – his art, his complex ideas, and his friendships with some of the 20th century’s key counterculture figures. Featuring greats like Burroughs (in archival footage), singer Marianne Faithfull, singer/artist Genesis P-Orridge of Pyschic TV, poet John Giorno, punk rocker Iggy Pop, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and artist/turntablist DJ Spooky, FLicKeR is a hypnotic documentary.